"I never thought about painting!"
My Story
My Story
My Story
My Story
How did this all begin?
"I never thought about painting!"
     After returning from my mission to Africa I heard there was going to a be fundraiser for a mission trip to Guatemala this summer.  It was going to be a "Paint Night".  It sounded like fun but, I never thought about painting. It was the idea of being together with others from the church raising money for a good cause that I was thinking about. All I could think of was how funny my painting would look at the end of the night and that we would all get a good laugh out of it. 
    I'm always wanting to make people laugh so, I signed up and began thinking about what kind of excentric looking outfit I could wear to look the part.
    Well, you probably agree I reached my goal and then some on my look. So finally - the night of March 31st was here and I got dressed up, and headed for church. I made a stop at the dollar store for an addition - 1" & 2" paint brushes for my shirt pocket. (I had no idea that a common brush like this can actually be used in doing painting.) When I arrived there was a flurry of activity and the room was nearly filled.
    A few minutes later we were ready to begin. While the majority of folks were painting an amazing flower - I had chosen to paint a barn scene with a nice blue sky, some clouds and sunflowers. What was I thinking. If not for the fact that we were short on time (actually, I was long on painting) I might have done a better job. But, I rushed to finish.  
This was the beginnings of my very first painting. About 40 minutes in. I was running out of time when I got to this stage and wondered how I would get the flowers painted. Many people were now finished. I say the flowers were a problem but with each negative thing I said about them, more people at church and online told me they liked them.Here I am with the finished painting. It didn't make me laugh like I thought it would but, I did chickle some
Click on the photos above for a larger version and captions.
  Not only did we raise a lot of money for the mission trip to Guatemala this summer but, it was a great time for everyone. As you can see, I am the odd one is the group. Look at all those beautiful flowers. What a great job everybody did!  We have some very talented folks among us . I hope we can do it again!  What great fun!
  I was actually surprised by the results of the night. It's one of those reminders ~ "Don't say you can't if you have never tried." God can do anything when we are willing!  Wow!
"God gave me a great idea!"
  Almost immediately I began thinking ~ "what do I do with this painting?"  People seemed to like it. Then God gave me a great idea! Put it up for auction!  All I could think at the time was - "who would want it." As soon as I got home I put the pictures up on Facebook and let everyone know that I was ready to begin the bidding on my painting with the proceeds going to a gofundme campaign for my dear brother ~ Pastor Gorge in Swaziland, who needs a car for them to get back and forth to his dialysis treaments and other medical appointments.  Within minutes I got my first bid of $10. I was impressed! Wow, someone will pay $10. for it. 
  Sunday, April 2nd I gave my mission presentation at church and continued the bidding.  At the end of the 1st service the bid was now $100. I was stunned. (But, it wasn't so much the painting as the cause I'm sure.)  At the end of the second service someone came to me with a bid for $500. The auction would close at midnight Sunday.
  I called the $100 bidder Sunday evening to see if they would like to increase their bid. Their family had talked about it during the afternoon and decided they would not continue to bid but, they wanted me to accept that bid and they would still give a contribution. Praise the Lord!  I was thinking that would mean another $100 (so the painting was generating $600.) But, then they said: "We will give $1,000."  What?  So, "the little painting that could". brought it a total of $1,500.
  Jokingly the person who bid $500 asked if it comes with a frame and I could only think - yes! I didn't know that a dear brother in the church would donate a handcrafted barn board frame which was what I pictured the frame of the window of that old barn in the picture  would have been like.
  There is nothing like a faithful friend who cares for you and loves you as a brother!  Tommyboy is one of those.
  He's always ready to give a hug or a helping hand. Thanks Tom for the beautiful work you did on this frame. If you need someone who is able to make anything out of wood, call me and I will hook you up!
  In Swaziland we sing this ~
"When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no. When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no. When Jesus opens a door, nobody can close it. When Jesus opens a door nobody can close it." It's so powerful. You can keep coming up with your own verses of truth and keep that song going in your head and heart all day long.
  When Jesus said yes, to this painting, nobody said no. When Jesus opened the door for it to be sold to help Pastor Gorge no one could close it. But, I did not know then what God was going to do next.
  HE opened a door no man can open in a way that no man can do! You'll see in Chapter 2.
  "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and don't lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight." (Prov. 3:5,6)_
  Never say in your own wisdom: "God can't". HE CAN! HE WILL!
Click here for Chapter 2